Monday, October 3, 2011

A sustainable Long Beach must achieve food security

Local Community Harvest Dinner @ T's Space, Fall 2011.  Photo by Peter Phelps.
If the City of Long Beach wants to be truly sustainable, in deed as well as in word, it has to let its residents feed themselves as they see fit. We are always one natural disaster away from food insecurity.

Food security is
 “affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate* food for all people at all times”   
as defined by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

*Who is to determine what is culturally appropriate? This must be determined by the individual, not by the government or by others.

The Community Food Security Coalition states that,
“at a basic level, Community Food Security is about making healthy food accessible to all, including low-income people. It’s about making nutritious and culturally appropriate food accessible, not just any food. It is about promoting social justice and more equitable access to resources, and building and revitalizing local communities and economies. It’s about supporting local, regional, family-scale, and sustainable farmers and businesses. It’s about empowering diverse people to work together to create positive changes in the food system and their  communities... and much more.”
When it comes to food security through urban agriculture, we are falling way far behind other municipalities including San Francisco, Seattle, Portland in Oregon, even New York City. If these big cities can do it, what’s holding us back? Our municipal code is! Let’s change it!

Let’s not waste our time and money and other resources by reinventing the wheel. Other cities have already done this. Other cities have already done the impact reports and health assessments. Let’s just adopt the best of the best from Seattle’s, San Francisco’s, and NYC’s respective municipal codes.

Enjoy this? Then share the link and comment below, even if only to say "Hi!"

You might also be interested in Donna’s other work as Long Beach Urban Agriculture Examiner and founder and executive director of Long Beach Grows™.

Copyright © 2011 Donna Marykwas; All rights reserved.

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